Following the contract without appearing ‘contractual’

Paul Culvenor

Have you ever wished you had a time machine to go back and do things properly from the beginning?

The situation

We all want to maintain a good relationship with the client. It helps us win future work, it helps avoid disputes, and projects just run more smoothly when everyone is getting along.

When times are good - we don’t make any extra claims, we sort everything out on site and we don’t involve contract teams.

The problem

The issue is that it’s easy to fall into bad habits where we stop keeping records and properly following contract processes. This can create a lot of risk in the short and long term.

For example, we might go above and beyond the contract for years when times are good. Then conditions change, putting pressure on our margins.

In the short term, it’s hard to start claiming without creating tension, because we’ve already set the expectation that we won’t.

In the long term, at re-tender we’ll want to increase pricing or schedule, but won’t have good records to use as justification.

We often think that there is a trade-off between following proper contract processes and maintaining good client relationships. We think the only options are to be overly contractural or to do nothing at all.

The solution

Fortunately, there is a happy medium allowing us to stay covered while maintaining or even improving client relations. This requires us to follow 3 key principles:

  1. Make things black and white from the beginning - be clear with the client about the processes you are going to follow and set the right expectations.
  2. Send proper notifications for everything - flag anything that has the potential to be an issue later on, even if you don’t plan on claiming for it.
  3. Keep records for things that aren’t claimed - include everything on your variation register, even things that you don’t submit. Capture evidence for them just as you would for claimed issues.

How Hevi can help

Hevi is a software platform purpose built to help contractors do the right thing without appearing contractural. It allows you to:

Set up interactive workflows - use flowcharts to clearly define your processes and show everyone what to do by when.

Automate notifications - send automatic emails for notifications, tasks, reminders to clients to make things less personal.

Record full contract histories - Store complete document and activity logs for all possible claims. Collect daily contract diary updates from key people on site.

Drop us a message and see how we can help you!

A headshot of Brad Gyngell
Brad Gyngell
Co-founder & CEO
a headshot of Paul Culvenor
Paul Culvenor

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